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What kind of exerciser am I?

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Old 08-16-2007, 08:15 AM   #1
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Default What kind of exerciser am I?

Moderate, Intense, Casual????? When trying to figure out how many calories I should be consuming and the intensity of my exercises I get confused. Here's what I'm doing so far I walk average 50-70 min a day. I do some mild stretching before I start to loosen up and walk on a trail with hills average 20-30 min or more a pop (usally walk in the AM then go back again in the PM). I wear a Pedometer and also calculate my time. Last time I walked (yesterday) I completed nearly 3800 steps in 32 min. My heartrate was increased and my breathing labored so felt like I was doing a good workout but have a hard time figuring out if it was Moderate or Intense? Shouldn't there be someting in between like Moderatly Intense
Oh and I have been increasing these numbers each day adding more steps and increasing my all around time-seems as I'm dropping weight I'm doing more in the same amount of time.
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Old 08-17-2007, 07:23 PM   #2
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Yes, there should be a Moderately Intense category for sure ...

What I think you're doing is moderate....
Intense is when you are walking or running as if someone is after you and you have a difficult time having a conversation with someone... HIIT, High Interval Intensity Training is like that... You run or walk all out for a minute then you recover for a minute, you do this 10 times, and you've done a good intense 20 minute workout that burns a lot of calories...

Just my 2 cents ...
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:01 PM   #3
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I would also call that moderate... as long as you keep walking faster as your fitness progresses and you feel your breathing definately kick in and usually some sweating involved (everyone is different) I'd call it moderate.

If your really worried about being exact I'd get a heart rate monitor you can see what intensity your at and some of them give calories counts etc.
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Old 08-17-2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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You can get a rough idea of how hard you're working by checking your pulse and figuring out what your heart rate (HR) is while you're exercising.

The easiest way is with a heart rate monitor, but if you don't have one, you can check your heart rate either in your wrist or the side of your neck. Take it for 10 seconds and then multiply by 6 to figure out your HR in beats per minute.

Then you need to figure out your intensity zones. Start by subtracting your age from 220 to get your maximum HR. For example, if you're 40, subtract your age from 220 and get 180. That's your (theoretical) max HR.

Then compute the HR zones for your age.

Low intensity: 65 - 75% of max HR

Moderate intensity: 75 - 85 % of max HR

High intensity: 85 - 90% of max HR

So for our 40 year old, the numbers work like this:

Low intensity: 117 - 135

Moderate intensity: 136 - 153

High intensity: 154 - 162

If you figure out your own personal intensity zones and check your HR, you should have a pretty good idea of how intense your exercise is.

Hope this helps and isn't too confusing!
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Old 08-18-2007, 06:06 AM   #5
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As an execise science lecturer - no catcalls please - do as I say not as I do rules my classroom - I would say that you are in the moderate range there!

Meg has given you a good idea of how to measure your intensity - depending on a long list of individual variables! But the general rule of thumb is - if you can say your phone number (incl. dialling code) then you are NOT PUSHING IT to a high intensity.

BUT... and here's the science bit... that is EXACTLY where you need to be to get the best results. Remember your physics ("Oh yes, Stef", I hear you cry, "we all do don't we" )

effort x time = work done!

So if you put in a BIG effort for a short amount of time then your work done will be quite low - so a 20 second flat out sprint will only give you so many calories. BUT if you move at a slightly lower pace you will be able to move for a lot longer - so your work done will increase!

It really is that simple - think of it like this - how far can you move your body?

Effort = your body weight
Time = how long or how far you keep it moving
Work done = calories

If you change either the length of time you move at one speed or the distance you move in the same period of time you will have increased the work you do - or calories spent!

e.g. a snail will take a long time to burn the same calories as a cheetah in a sprint - but you probably get the picture! Oh, and please forgive the ultra simplification of the science - but I teach 16 - 19 year olds who think sport science is playing football all day!!!!!

Move as fast as is doable for 40 - 60 minutes. You will find that you will travel further in that same time - thereby increasing the work done without having to break anything!

Your description of increased temperature and breathing rate is a good indication that you are working quite well - just don't be tempted to move so fast that you cannot say your phone number out loud - that is for later, when you want to be an elite runner

Hope I didn't bore anyone too much - but I am currently writing up a lesson on exercise intensities - and thought I'd let a little bit leak out....

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Old 08-20-2007, 07:29 PM   #6
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Thanks for all of your tips!!!! I'm definetly going to check the heart rate. I too think I'm at a "moderate" pace but would have felt like I was cheating myself if I was actually going slower and not figuring that in w/my program. I think what's throwing me is as I'm walking I'm getting better and faster so it doesn't seem quite a strenous as when I first started but I keep uping the amount of time I walk so I'm on top of the world realizing that when I first started I could only manage 1 mile and now I'm up to 3!!!!!!! If I can do it anyone can!
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